Calcutta (Agenzia Fides) - Diocesan priests in India want Mother Teresa of Calcutta as a model and source of inspiration: This is what was said by 113 members of the Conference of Diocesan Priests of India (CDPI), from 67 dioceses, gathered in past days in Calcutta under the guidance of several Bishops, among them Thomas D'Souza, Archbishop of Calcutta. The theme was "The life and mission of Mother Teresa reflected in the life and mission of the diocesan priests".
Fr. Raymond Joseph Irudhayasamy, Executive Secretary of the Commission of vocations, seminaries, clergy and religious in the Bishops' Conference, told Fides: "I think the effect of this will last for years in the hearts and minds of diocesan priests of India". The priests made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Mother Teresa praying and celebrating the Eucharist on her grave, and were "deeply touched by her burning desire to love only Christ" and to make the Eucharist "the pivot of her life". "Mother Teresa bent down to serve the Jesus she saw in the poorest of the poor, the terminally ill or incurable. She teaches us with her life that holiness is not a luxury for some, but a pastoral priority for every diocesan priest", he said.
Salvatore Lobo, Bishop of Baruipur, spoke to the assembly of "total surrender to Jesus, to love Jesus alone, to give to Jesus and live only for Jesus", urging priests to "be the face of Christ on earth". Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he said, was "an exemplary model of silence, deep friendship with Jesus and evangelization through her life".
At the conclusion of the meeting the Conference of diocesan priests issued a statement which read: "We, diocesan priests, appreciating our divine gift of priesthood, will strive to assimilate the values lived by Mother Teresa, particularly her spirit of universality that pushed her toward all who suffer, regardless of creed, caste or country. We will do our best to serve those who are marginalized economically and spiritually in our parishes, beyond the borders of our faith community. We have decided to celebrate the Eucharist remembering the maternal advice of Mother Teresa: celebrate this Mass, as if it were your first Mass, as if it were your last Mass, and as if it were the only one. We pledge to respect the human dignity of each individual with whom we come into contact and to carry out our priestly ministry with the greatest love, so that if becomes a source of inspiration for all". (PA-PN) (Agenzia Fides 07/04/2017)